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Magical Beginnings - My Story

Magical Beginnings - My Story

As a child I remember my parents buying a plastic magic top hat for me. It had a trap door to hide and produce cards. I never really mastered its use as it was quite clunky and loud when producing cards but it was one of my favourite toys. It had many uses. I guess it was this early toy that grabbed my attention and love of magic. I will never forget my parents taking me, my sister and my mate Dean to a toy exhibition at Crystal Palace. It was a great day out and as well as toys galore, featured a lot of magicians performing. A day out that I will never forget. And like most kids in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I loved watching the Paul Daniels magic show and buying the magic tricks range that he endorsed. I remember visiting a toy/hobby shop in Staines every Saturday and my Dad buying tricks for me. I remember the blue and red Paul Daniels range of tricks well. I don’t remember being particularly good at the tricks and probably didn’t read the instructions much, but I had fun The tricks that were more self performing were the ones I used the most. I particularly remember owning the fake blue plastic drinks coaster. When placing a glass on the coaster, you could make a coin appear. I wonder how that trick worked! Good memories of two brilliant parents who have now sadly passed away in the last few years. These toys that my parents bought me and days out had an early influence on my love for magic. From early teens, my interest probably waned a bit and magic didn’t seem as cool as it once had. But it has always caught my attention. When I got married about 12 years ago, my contribution at the wedding fair was booking a magician for close up magic for the guests. My brother in law was impressed as he was particularly interested in card magic at the time. I would watch him perform, believing that I didn’t have the time or even the ability to perform card magic. About four or five years ago, I watched the TV show “Tricked“ with Ben Hanlin. At the time it was available on Netflix in the UK. A really enjoyable show and grabbed my interest in magic again. Modern magic combined with practical jokes. In 2018 when Ben Hanlin was performing a warm up gig in Corby, I went to the show with my family. At that time, I then felt the need to book more shows to see magic performed live. It’s so good to see artists carry out tricks and perform magic that you may have previously wondered if was just camera trickery. The Ben Hanlin show started a little tradition of getting selfies with the artists and booking as many shows as I could. Since then, I booked further shows to see Ben, Jamie Raven, Richard Jones, Morgan and West, Mandy Muden, Derren Brown, Ben Hart and anyone else touring. Great to have so many selfies and even videos. Last year, I had a period of time when I wasn’t well and have some private messages that some of them sent. Will always keep those videos. And thanks to the magicians who sent them. The famous magicians/artists are such an amiable bunch. Another reason why it holds an interest for many as they look after their fans. This year, like most people I was suddenly presented with more time on my hands. For a while, I had wanted to build a website but did not have any idea what to do. An idea that I had after attending a Magical Bones Zoom show was to produce a website based on my interest in magic. I had always found it hard to find complete listings of magic artists and their shows.

The site was fairly quickly born and I continue to work on it, gradually attracting a following and adding content. I have always had an interest in wanting to perform magic. The time invested in creating the site helped nurture my interest and want to start performing tricks. Card magic appeared to be a good place to start and though I learnt some magic, I decided I wanted to take my time. I wished to be able to hold cards well, and be able to carry out manoeuvres that were impressive rather than clumsy. The result is that I have put learning card tricks on hold while I learn about cardistry. Currently I am working on a beginners course to understand the basics of handling cards and simple techniques. Where possible, trying to practice most days. Once I am happy with my progress with the cards, I have some courses lined up to start with basic card magic. That way, I will know a lot of the moves to be able to effectively perform basic tricks well (hopefully). I am taking the cardisty side really seriously and practising as much as I can. I am using an online course by Steve Faulkner and for those of you who follow this blog, I’ve written a little bit about that in previous posts. My interest in collecting cards is also growing, so while I have bought my first brick of bikes to practice with, collectable decks keep catching my eye. Just love quality decks and adding them to a growing collection. Just need to sort out storage and a way of displaying. As far as the future is concerned, lots of practice is required. Then a gradual introduction of tricks. Once the covid 19 situation improves, it would be great if I can get to more live magic, conventions and cardistry events. Can’t wait. The website will continue to be a focus, particularly the blog and Vlog. Long term focus has to being able to put on a private show. Then in perhaps a year, applying for associate membership and then eventually sitting the entrance exam to join the magic circle would be a good achievement. The last few months during lockdown has given many of us the opportunity re-engage with interests and hobbies. After a period of ill health, I’ve learnt that you have to grab opportunities and make the most of things. Long may the magic continue! Thanks for reading and if you got this far and enjoyed, please like and share.

Zoom Magic Page

Zoom Magic Page

With Zoom Magic now gaining momentum and more shows being added, it makes sense that it has its own dedicated page. I hope that you will find this useful. The online shows page still exists but is now just for free shows recorded for online viewing. It also made sense that while Zoom shows have a dedicated section, there was no need to have a news page and blog. Therefore, I have removed the news page and will share any magic news, site news or my own thoughts via this blog page. If you have any suggestions for content that you would like to see, please use the "Get in Touch" button. Do the same if you also would like a mention in the tour listings, zoom magic, online shows, or promo page section.

TV Viewing

TV Viewing

Lazy day, updated the website and carried out some promotion of the site. Now watching the last episode of BGT which normally features a magic act. This week they had Damien O’Brien perform for the judges. Trick involving his phone. https://youtu.be/xNzj7QCmr1Y Also, finished the “Magic for Humans” series on Netflix. Recommend, as an enjoyable watch with quite a lot of magic that you don’t see performed as often as some tricks.

25% Off Marvin’s Magic Sale This Weekend

25% Off Marvin’s Magic Sale This Weekend

Received an email about a 25% discount off Marvin’s Magic purchases this weekend. The text of the email is as follows. No affiliation to this site and just posting in case your interested. Big savings at www.marvinsmagic.com

Another scorching offer to match the weather with 25% off when you visit the Marvin's Magic website.

Learn some Mind-Blowing Magic to impress and amaze your family with our awesome Professional Magic Made Easy.

Simply use code: MAGIC25 at checkout

America’s Got Talent - Series 15 episode 5

America’s Got Talent - Series 15 episode 5

Acts appearing this week on episode 5 featured Winston the magician. Age 21 from Venezuela. Series 15 hasn’t been great for magic and Winston helped correct this a bit. A talented magician who displayed a sleight of hand routine, appearing to produce cards from thin air. The performance was dramatic, acting with out of control hands which kept producing cards uncontrollably. No card table, just Winston on a stool amazing the audience. Watch if you get a chance. Available on Netflix in the UK and also on YouTube. Judge and audience reactions were positive and Winston was through to the next round.

The Latest Show News (Zoom and Theatre)

The Latest Show News (Zoom and Theatre)

Looking through all the currently advertised shows in theatres and on Zoom, I have come across the following updates on Wednesday the 24th of June. Zoom and show listing pages updated to reflect the following: Theatre shows have the following cancellations and revised dates showing. Cancellations The 4MG shows on the 31st of July are showing as CANCELLED. John Archer 2020 dates now all show as CANCELLED. Shows still showing from New Year 2021. Revised Dates The Ben Hart shows for September and October are showing as TO BE RESCHEDULED. No further details as yet. Luke Baker September onward shows now RESCHEDULED to February 2021. When reviewing the Zoom shows, I could not see any changes to the advertised listings. If you become aware of any shows or wish to be listed, please let me know. ​ ​

Elliot Bibby - Zoom Magic Review

Elliot Bibby - Zoom Magic Review

My family and I were able to join Elliot for an online show yesterday (Saturday 19th June). We opted for the family magic show and thoroughly enjoyed the 30 minute performance. Three options exist on Elliot's website and the other two are close up magic and corporate. It appears that Elliot is getting a lot of bookings, so definitely book in advance to get the time and dates that you want. Word is getting out about Zoom Magic. The show was a great opportunity to enjoy Zoom magic and see my sister, my niece, my cousins and all their families. As we selected the family magic show, Elliot was great with all participants of all ages. If you want online entertainment for any event and want a magician, I would recommend this show. Elliot has a packed routine and fits a lot of magic within the available time. He is very skilled and his sleight of hand with cards and props has to be seen. I have seen a lot of magic performances now and have to say that this is quite different. Elliot has his own style and way of doing things. The presentation of the show is humorous and was good family entertainment. Quite a lot of laughs and surprises. The routine of tricks is mainly card based and for anyone who appreciates cardistry, they will will certainly respect how the cards are handled. I loved the show opener and how the bicycle cards appear. A fantastic start to the show and I will not spoil the surprise. While I would imagine as a magician, Zoom may present some challenges and possible barriers, Elliot uses the medium to his advantage. So, while we all of course love live magic, this technology does allow more interaction between you and the magician during the show. The connection was pretty good on Zoom. I like to use my laptop to see other audience members/delegates and use my monitor for the show. I understand that bookings are also available using Skype and FaceTime. Zoom does seem to be the preferred method by most magicians though. I really have to recommend Elliot. His prices are so reasonable. At time of booking, Elliot discusses the price plans with you dependent on your requirements and latest pricing also appears on his website. If you want to know a bit more, as well as the website, take a look at this YouTube video about the show. Thanks for the amazing show. May have to book the close up magic show next!

How to Zoom Magic!

How to Zoom Magic!

With the weekend fast approaching, I have yet another Zoom show booked. This time it is a public Zoom performance of Tom Brace’s show “Connected”. I will write up a mini review after watching the show. This will be my fourth Zoom show after watching Magical Bones perform a couple of times and also Elliot Bibby. Tom is doing two shows this Sunday the 28th of June and tickets are currently still available for the shows. His website indicates that the 7pm show is nearly sold out (at time of writing) and not many tickets left. A 5pm show is also available. Take a look at Tom’s FaceBook page for updates. Also, within the “MagicSeats” website, take a look at the Zoom Magic page. It lists Zoom Magic shows that I know of. If you are aware of a show that is not listed, please tell me. I have reviewed the Zoom listings yesterday and I can confirm that the page is currently up to date. My Zoom Magic page has links to all the artists sites. Take a look and they will detail the booking process. Many of the private bookings are via email exchange. The public Zoom Magic shows tend to have an online ticketing agent. If you haven’t tried a Zoom show yet, general public Zoom shows are the best way to try this medium. Ticket prices are really cheap for these public shows and I have only paid between about £11 to £13 so far per show. Though as the popularity grows for these shows and audiences buy into the medium, I have noticed some price increases. For private shows, fees are varied dependant on the artist but range from about £30 to £300 Some artists also allow you to decide how much you want to pay and they just make a recommendation for the minimum amount. If you haven’t used Zoom before, you can download the app to your phone, desktop or tablet After creating an account, all you then need do is test your setup To join any Zoom Magic event, you should be provided with a link, meeting details and password in advance after purchasing a ticket. Before any shows, you are normally encouraged to attempt to sign on between 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start. But always follow the email instructions that arrive with your ticketing details. You can then switch on your camera and sound, dependent on whether you wish to be seen or not. Certainly for general public shows, whatever you feel comfortable with is best. For private shows and to gain the full interactive experience, camera and sound is recommended. Lastly, a huge advantage of some of the public shows currently available is that for the price, you can have the whole family watching from the same screen. If you book any Zoom shows, let me know how you get on and your views in the comments below.

Tom Brace and Magical Bones Zoom Shows This Weekend

Tom Brace and Magical Bones Zoom Shows This Weekend

Tom has posted via his FaceBook page a reminder about his two shows. Both shows are this Sunday and I have my tickets. If your interested, take a look at the below. I will publish a review early in the week. Visit page. "Looking for something to do this weekend? I’m presenting my first ever interactive, online magic show this Sunday at 17:00 and 19:00. Come and see what it really means to stay “connected” in a global pandemic. Tickets are £11.37 per household and are available below. Limited availability for 19:00 showing." - Tom. And don't forget, Magical Bones is also performing on Saturday. Tickets can be bought by going via his site.

Cardistry Update 2

Cardistry Update 2

I continue to practice cardistry every day. For those of you who read last weeks blog, I signed up to Steve Faulkner’s training site for magicians. Includes many video course on cardistry, card magic and other related topics. While following my beginners course videos, I realised that Steve also has a course on practice. This was really useful and helps you to determine what your purpose is, and what are you hoping to achieve. What’s great about these videos is that Steve has studied training and development. I did the same about 15 years ago and studied training for about a year. Therefore I find myself relating to the approaches and learning techniques used. I am making sure that I practice everyday but need to start writing down notes and questions etc. or even scribbles, so I have ordered a new note pad. While I have completed the beginners course, I keep replaying the videos as I practice. I have a nice office/man cave to practice in every night on my desk with my card mat. As I have a laptop and monitor in front of me, I will probably set it at a future point in time to start recording so that I can play back and see how I am performing. I was beginning to get confused with all the different names for grips, so I created my own help sheet with a picture of various grips, shuffles etc. That way, I can also use these sheets of pictures to work through my moves and at the same time, attempt to remember the names of all the various manoeuvres. When taking a break from work during the day, I will be able to use these sheets for practising with the cards. A great way of unwinding. A photo example of my instruction/reference sheets that I have prepared is at the bottom of this blog page. Where possible I took my own photos and took others examples from online references such as Steve’s site. Hence I won’t share the entire doc as being used just for my own purposes as part of my learning. Of course, even as a beginner, you find some moves easier or harder than others. I am making good progress with swing cuts (from end grip) and riffling the cards. Dribbling the cards will need lots of practice and is quite hard for me currently. The ribbon spread is going quite well and as I become more successful doing this, I am introducing top card control. To assist with my practising, my first brick of bikes arrived at the weekend. Currently I am using two decks, a blue and red but not sure how long I should expect the cards to last when using daily. I intend to publish regular articles about cardistry on this blog, as soon as I have sufficient new updates to report on.

Derren Brown - Roku Channel

Derren Brown - Roku Channel

For anyone who has a Roku TV streaming box or Now TV box, check out the new Roku Channel. A free streaming service for Roku customers. I have just discovered that the show “Derren Brown Investigates” is now available to stream. 3 episodes. They also have the following Derren Brown shows: The Experiments The Great Art Robbery Hero at 30,000 Feet Also, I noticed Magicians is also available to stream with 2 seasons consisting of 10 episodes. With Barry Jones, Stuart Macleod and Luis de Matos.

Site Improvements

Site Improvements

Feel really tired now! Have been working on lots of site updates last night and today. The following has been updated: A new streaming page has been added so that you can see what paid for and free streaming programmes are available to watch. This took quite a while to research and find out what shows related to magic are available. Let me know if I have missed anything available. The page does not include paid for digital downloads as far too many to list! I continue to add to the A to Z Directory of magicians with a few more artists added. Tour listings updated and a James Phelan show added. Updated the news page. So if you fancy seeing what TV magic shows are currently available to stream, do look at this new page on the site.